Sulayman Ceesay, a reporter with the Voice Newspaper, has won the 2012 YJAG Founder President’s Annual Award.
Ceesay, who also doubles as the treasurer of YJAG, was presented with his prize on Sunday 16 September 2012 at the Gambia Press Union secretariat in Fajara during activities marking the 5th anniversary of the association.
The award, 2nd of its kind, was initiated by the founder president of YJAG in 2011 to encourage members to actively participate in the development of the association.
In presenting the award to the winner, Nfamara Jawneh, YJAG founder president, said the initiative was meant to recognise the efforts of a particular member who has worked very hard during the year for the development of the association.
“I initiated the award just to encourage members to work extremely hard for the advancement of YJAG,” Mr Jawneh remarked, saying: “The award this year though small is twenty times bigger than that of last year and would be given to a particular member as a surprise.”
He urged other members to emulate the likes of Sulayman while congratulating him for his achievement.
Mr Jawneh announced that henceforth an award committee would be formed to be responsible for identifying the future winners.
It would be recalled that Aminata Sanneh, former 1st vice president of YJAG, won the maiden edition of YJAG founder’s prize in 2011.
Reacting to his prize, Sulayman said he was surprised winning the award.
He added that, he never knew that someone like Mr Jawneh was out there following his progress in the association.
Ceesay, who was speaking to this reporter shortly after receiving his prize, said: “I thought the award was going to someone else but to my surprise I heard my name that the award was going to me.”
This will serve as a source of motivation for him to continue the work he is doing for the association, he said, adding that he feels very proud and happy about the award.
It is an achievement and honour for him winning the award from the founding father of the association, he remarked: “I also consider it as a challenge for me to continue doing more of what I was doing for the association.”
He used the opportunity to also advise other members to commit more time and efforts and take ownership of the association, saying: “It is the only way forward for YJAG. What I just want to emphasize is that YJAG is here for all young and aspiring journalists thus the need for all of us to embrace it.”
He noted that the association is here to promote the welfare of every young and aspiring journalist in the country.
He also called on all members of the association and even non-members to support the association in any way they could.
YJAG treasurer also called on members to remain committed and be attending meetings at all times as well as pay their dues regularly.
“I would also like to call on members to be paying their dues on time because this is the money we use to run the association,” he said.
The association has a very “beautiful action plan that can help members to realize their dreams”, he revealed, but if there is no money these plans cannot be implemented. This is why they need the monthly contribution of members, he added.
He also called on NGOs, philanthropists and individuals to support the association financially or in any other means they could, so they can realize their dreams as an association.
“I cannot conclude without thanking Mr Jawneh for recognizing my efforts and the support he has been giving me and the association,” Ceesay said.
He also hailed the current YJAG leadership, especially Modou S. Joof and Lamin Jahateh, the president and secretary general respectively, for their support and guidance to him.
He concluded by also thanking the managing editor of the Voice Newspaper, Musa Sheriff, for giving him the time to effectively partake in YJAG’s activities.